Nov. 6 Was a Good Night for School Bonds

The voters have spoken and it’s clear they’re up for more borrowing for school improvements.

According to League of California Cities fiscal policy advisor Michael Coleman, who’s been tracking their performance, 80% of the school bond measures on the Nov. 6 ballot are expected to pass based on preliminary returns. The total is around $12 billion in borrowing. Additionally, voters approved parcel taxes, which have a higher threshold, to help fund school expenditures in seven out of twelve school districts.

As CalSchoolNews reported last month, much of these funds were requested based on the need to upgrade school safety mechanisms. The largest bond ($3.5 billion) will go to the San Diego Unified School District. The smallest ($750,000) will go to the Stone Corral School District in Tulare County. Lowell Joint School District in Whittier, meanwhile, is poised for its first school bond in 20 years.

CalMatters’ Ricardo Cano notes that the state’s wealthiest school districts continue to average more bond dollars than the poorest districts. Proposition 51 has contributed to the disparity, critics say. The Coalition for Adequate School Housing, which supported that ballot measure, is now suing California over the slow distribution of matching funds.

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